Technique for Removal of Organics & Dissolved Solids from Aqueous Medias Via Supercritical Treatment [ID 12008]



Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing utilize a fluid to stimulate shale gas formations and prevent fractures from collapsing. The fracking fluid is a mixture of freshwater, chemical additives, and proppant (typically sand). 2-4 million gallons of this fluid are required for each fracking site and almost all of this fluid is returned to the surface as flowback water. Additionally, produced water begins to seep from the well as the fracking continues. Currently, these fluids cannot be reused for the next fracture because the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) far exceed the restricted limit of concentration, sometimes containing up to 250,000 ppm. Disposal of these fluids is costly and time consuming, as well as environmentally unfriendly. This technology has the capability to recover at least 90 percent of water used for hydrofracturing with a quality suitable for discharge onto land or into receiving streams. The process utilizes supercritical water to remove organic, microbiological, and heavy metal. Total Dissolved Solids from the flowback/produced water. First the water is filtered, then pressurized and preheated. The water enters a seperator vessel where dissolved solids, heavy metals, and microbial constituents are removed from the water.


Commercial Application

Natural gas fracking industry

Petroleum shipping hydrocarbon and heavy metal extraction

Oil platform waste water, slops, and groundwater compounds extraction

Mine run-off water heavy metal extraction



Converts flowback fluid into relatively clean water that is safe for reuse or discharge

Eliminates need for costly disposal services that require deep saline water wells


Printable Overview

Issued Patent



Patent applications pending

2,862,631 Canada


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Foley
Technology and Commercialization Manager
Ohio University
Jason Trembly